While Maynooth University students can now relax after their exams, Laura Mulqueen explains how the Maynooth Student Union made everyone's exam time a little bit easier.
Maynooth University has just closed its exam hall doors as the official end has arrived. Students relaxed for the first time in weeks by heading to the SU for a pint, catching the first bus home or by screaming in exhilaration of the freedom ahead. So how did Maynooth Student Union help?
 
Each morning and evening Vice President for Education Andy Garrad along with Maynooth Student Unions Welfare Officer Síona Cahill were present in the NUIM library foyer providing snacks for the growling stomachs of students studying.
 
Pancakes were available from ten a.m. for breakfast while bananas, oranges and chocolate were available each evening from eight p.m. Síona and Andy were also distributing information leaflets from 'Please Talk' and 'Heads Up' for students who were feeling extremely stressed and in need of someone to talk to. Support was available in every shape and form for students.
 
To combat any lack of hygiene, the welfare crew had deodorant, cotton buds, hand sanitizer and pocket tissues available in the toilets in the library for students to freshen up each day. 
 
Motivational posters were placed across campus to cheer students on at this time of year. If that didn't attract students to the library to study, then there were bubble wrapped pillars for students to knock the sleep out of their heads. Or if your brain was too frazzled you could sit and amuse yourself by popping bubbles.
 
After the success of previous puppy rooms, the return of cuddly dogs was highly anticipated. Hordes of students flocked across campus to catch even a glimpse of fluffiness. On Thursday the 15th of January, guide dogs arrived in Maynooth to a celebrity welcome. 
 
The arrival of a petting zoo on Tuesday afternoon sparked a tirade of students running towards the door of the student union. Among the attractions were Terry the hamster, ducks, llamas and rabbits to cuddle. Having animals on hand to pet provided much needed stress relief for students who needed an hour break from studying.
 
Being stuck with your head in the books can be very repetitive and counter act learning. The activities provided by Maynooth Student Union for the duration of the exam period ensured that the welfare of students was catered for, from feeding them one of their five a day, providing motivational support and ensuring they were still practicing good hygiene. 
 
Now that exams are finished, students are heading home to kick back and relax before semester two begins in February.
 
Photo: MSU/ Facebook